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Simple Sunday: It’s All Greek to Us!

Apparently our tzatziki-hummus from Thursday’s post got us craving Greek food, because we’re back again today with another little taste of the Mediterranean. This time it’s in the form of a salad that’s delicious, healthy, and as always- simple 🙂

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And yes, that is the same blue bowl and blue napkins from our other Greek-themed photo shoot.  What can we say? When you find something that works you stick with it, right?

Well, that and you can only have so many blue bowls in your cupboard…

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But enough about bowls, let’s talk about salad!  Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, some pungent black olives and salty feta cheese. Talk about yum!

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Those of you who have had some experience with Greek food (or at least Greek Salad) will notice that we left out one very key ingredient: red onion.  The truth is, no one in our family is a real fan of red onions.  In small quantities they’re ok, but for the most part we all find they just leave an overwhelming onion taste in our mouths that lasts forever.  But of course, if red onion is your thing, we definitely encourage you to add it in to the mix!

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The dressing for this salad has only a handful of ingredients, making it a snap to prepare so you can spend the rest of the time working on the chicken souvlaki feast you’re going to serve it alongside.  At least that’s what our family did, and is highly recommended!

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Oh, and remember that Greek-inspired hummus we mentioned?  That would go pretty well with this, too.  Just sayin’ 😉

Easy Greek Salad

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 ripe tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 cup pitted black olives
1/2 large red onion (optional)
1/2 c. reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano

Directions:

Dice the tomatoes, cucumber and onion (if using) into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl.  If desired, cut the olives in half or leave them whole and add them in as well.  (We cut some of them up and left some whole).  Crumble the feta cheese and add it to the bowl as well.  Stir everything together until it is all evenly mixed.

In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and oregano.  Shake vigorously until everything is mixed together well.  Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently to make sure all the ingredients have been evenly coated with the dressing.  Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.  The salad will keep in the fridge for a couple days. (And even gets better as it sits).

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried Greek food?  What is your favourite Greek dish?

Sloppy Lentils

We mentioned before when we made Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes last August that Sloppy Joes were always a favourite meal growing up. Really, they’re a saucy, sloppy mess of a meal – what kid doesn’t love that?

The last time we made them, we decreased the beef and added lentils to lighten them up a bit and pack in some of the fibre and other nutrients that lentils have to offer. Well, we’ve done it again, but this time, we’ve taken out the beef entirely and made a completely vegetarian version of the classic!

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And of course, we packed it full of veggies for an additional nutrition bonus!

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Now, we know what some of you may be thinking “What? No beef?!?” but seriously, guys, don’t knock it ’till you try it! The flavour is all there, and the lentils add a great texture all their own, it’s really quite delicious.

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Meatless meals are also a great idea if you’re trying to watch your saturated fat intake, or just squeeze some extra veggies in. And they can be just as tasty as their meat containing counter parts!

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So take a leap of faith with us here, guys, we promise you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Lentil Sloppy Joes

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. brown lentils
1 1/4 c. water

2 tsp olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 c. mushrooms, chopped
2/3 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the Sauce:

1/3 c. tomato paste
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 drops of liquid smoke
3-4 tbsp tomato juice
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
pepper, to taste

2 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:

Put water and lentils into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 25min, or until fully cooked and most of the water has been absorbed.
Heat oil on a  pan over medium heat. Dice onion and add to pan, cooking until translucent. Mince the garlic and chop the peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan along with the frozen veggies.
Add the smoked paprika and cook until tender-crisp, approximately 4-5 min.
Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. (Option: finely dice the chili and stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl).
Once the lentils and veggies are done cooking, stir the lentils into the vegetables and mix well. Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir until evenly coated.
Divide the sloppy joe mixture over two warm hamburger buns and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Do you have a favourite classic recipe that you’ve changed to make healthier? What were some of your favourite meals as a kid? We were huge fans of eggs and toast or cereal for dinner, but we also loved mashed potatoes and whenever our Dad did burgers on the bbq!

A Warm Weather Welcome

Hey all! So we would like to apologize for our lack of posting over the last couple of days, we’re in final exams currently and had two in two days. We’ll be back posting a little more frequently over the next week until we have another two in a row – and then we’re FREE! 🙂

Anyways, the weather is finally getting warmer here, and it’s even been sunny for a couple of days – we were in sports bras on the outdoor track on Monday! We were all pretty excited about it, of course until our coach hit us up with 5k of some serious track work… yikes!

None the less, we decided that we needed to celebrate the warm weather with something bright, flavourful and colourful…

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Black Bean Mango Salsa!

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This stuff is the definition of bright and flavourful! It’s kind of like taking a mini-vacation to somewhere warm and sunny with every bite.

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The sweet, juicy mango and the fresh yet slightly citrus-y flavour of the cilantro balance the tangy tomatoes quite well, and the black beans add a heartiness to the salsa that make for a perfect side-dish or snack!

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We made some home-made pita-chips to dip in ours (we feel a Simple Sunday post coming on…), but any tortilla chips or crackers would work just fine! 🙂

So we hope that wherever you live, spring is starting to come out of hiding, and if it’s not… eat this salsa and head to mexico for a few bites! 😉

Mango and Black bean Salsa

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Total time: 10min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

1 28oz can No Salr Added diced tomatoes, drained
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/3-1/2c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 c. black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1/2 c. diced white or red onion
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
pepper
optional – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

Directions:

Drain the liquid from your diced tomatoes and add to a medium to large sized bowl.
Chop and peel mango, chop the cilantro and finely dice the onion. Mix into the tomatoes.
If using canned black beans, drain and rinse well. Mix black beans into the mixture.
Combine in a small dish honey, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the salsa and stir thoroughly, until even mixed throughout the salsa.
Stir in jalapeno if desired.
Serve immediately with chips or crackers, or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

~twosaucysisters

What foods transport you to your favourite warm and sunny destination? For us, anything with tropical fruits and/or coconut! 

A Spring Wish

This weather is crazy! For instance, yesterday: Blizzarding in the morning, sunny and warm enough to run in half-tights in the afternoon. What the heck?!? We are actually going batty over here- Mother Nature needs to get her act together and get spring going. We mean really, it’s March 27th people! Why is it still snowy and struggling to reach temperatures above freezing? There should be little flower buds and a slightly warmer sun by now!

In an effort to gently  encourage spring to come out of it’s shell, we made an early-summer inspired meal for dinner a few nights ago:

DSCN5228Baked Salmon with a Stawberry-Basil Rice Pilaf and Strawberry-Avocado Salsa!

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What’s more summer-y than fresh strawberries? They scream early late-June early-July.
Don’t mind the dying asparagus in the background. Asparagus is another veggie that is so reminiscent of the spring time, however we got a little excited about preparing the rest of the meal and sort of forgot that it was in the oven. Woops!

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Other than the forsaken asparagus, this meal was like a burst of spring even though there’s still snow on the ground. Strawberry+avocado is an unreal combination (have you ever tried strawberry and avocado grilled cheese? If you haven’t, you definitely should!) and so is strawberry+basil, and they all just go so well with the salmon!

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Maybe, if we just boycott winter all together spring will get here faster. Run in shorts and tank-tops, wear strappy sandals…. hmm, maybe we’ll just stick to eating spring/summer-inspired meals!

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Here’s to hoping spring comes out of hiding soon!

Baked Salmon with Strawberry Basil Rice Pilaf and Strawberry Avocado Salsa

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 20min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 filet of salmon
1/2 tsp lemon juice
ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 c. rice + water (amount of water depends on the type of rice you’re using. We used a short-grain brown rice/wild rice mix)
3/4 c. strawberries, chopped
1/2 c. basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 tbsp dijon mustard, divided
ground black pepper

1/2 c. strawberries, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice and pepper and bake for 10min, or until light pink and flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.
Put chopped strawberries and garlic onto a frying pan and mix with half of the lemon juice and dijon mustard. Cook over medium heat for 3 min, then add the basil. Cook for another 2 minutes or until strawberries have softened. Once the rice is finished cooking, stir the strawberry-basil mixture into the rice, along with the rest of the lemon juice and dijon mustard, and the black pepper.

For the salsa, toss chopped strawberries and avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To serve, put the rice pilaf on the plate first and place salmon over top. Top with the salsa and serve along side your favourite spring veggies!

~twosaucysisters

What ways are you using to escape this prolonged winter weather?

Noodle Bowl!

This is another one of those recipes that we’ve made a zillion times and we’re only now getting around to blogging about it.

Every time it went like this:

Question: “Are we going to take pictures of this for the blog this time?”
Answer: “Hmmm, we probably should…”
Reply: “Yeah I guess, but I kinda just want to eat it.”
Reply: “Me too- we can just make it again later and take pictures then”

And with that we would tuck into our bowls full of yummy noodle-y goodness and you would all unknowingly be kept in the dark for another couple of weeks before we made it again.

Until today, that is, because we finally managed to snap a few photos for you!

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This is basically a bowl full of veggies, fish, and lots and lots of noodles!  So what did we decide to call it?  Noodle Bowl!  Fitting, right? 🙂

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We found these really cool spinach vermicelli noodles at the No Frills (sometimes that place surprises us!) and they are what originally inspired this dish.  We’ve also made it with regular vermicelli noodles, and it would probably work really well with other types, too, like angel hair pasta, for instance- whatever you happen to have on hand, basically.

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And the best part is that this dish is extremely simple!  (Apparently our new Sunday tradition is leaking out into the rest of the week?)  There’s basically 4 steps to creating this meal: cook the noodles, cook the fish and veggies, heat up the broth, dump everything in a bowl.  Done and done!

Simple, delicious, nutritious – an extremely corny and cliche way of describing this bowl of awesome, but truthful, none the less. 🙂

Szechuan-style White Fish Noodle Bowl

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Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 15min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

 2 fillets of your favourite white fish
3 tsp + 1 tbsp hoisin sauce (we made our own using this recipe, but have also used store-bought, with the same results!)
2 tsp coconut oil

1/2 c. white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 c. veggies of choice, diced or cut into thin strips*
2 c. kale
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
1/2 tbsp peanut butter
pepper
2 c. vegetable stock

2 bunches of Vermicelli Noodles**

Peanuts
Hot Sauce

Directions:

Melt coconut oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. With the first 3tsp of hoisin sauce, coat both sides of the fish fillets. Cook on both sides for 2-3min, or until fish is blackened and cooked through. Remove from pan and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Fill a pot with about 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 2-3min, or until soft. Strain and set aside.

While water is heating, add some more coconut oil to your frying pan on medium-high. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, then add the rest of your vegetables, except the kale. Once the vegetables have cooked down some (about 3min), add the kale, peanut butter, final tablespoon of hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and pepper. Stir in fish.

In a separate bowl, heat stock in microwave (or in a pot on the stove, if you’d prefer) until hot. Divide noodles between two bowls and put fish and vegetable mixture on top. Pour hot vegetable stock over the noodles and vegetables, top with peanuts  and hot sauce (if desired) and serve.

*For our vegetables, we used peppers, zucchini, frozen mixed vegetables and mushrooms.

** Vermicelli noodles typically come in several bunches in a bag.

~twosaucysisters

Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe.  33 days!  We think that’s a record for us!  Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

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This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus!  We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

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But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East!  Boy do they know how to cook!  We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

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And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it 🙂

Curried Hummus

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Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth.  Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick.  (Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?

A Sticky Situation

The other day while we were browsing through Food Gawker (what else would you do with your free time?) we came across a recipe for sticky chicken.  It looked delicious, and of course we instantly knew that we wanted to make our own version for dinner that night.

There was only one problem- we had no chicken!

For those of you who have cars and are thinking why don’t you just make a quick trip to the grocery store? We agree, what a novel idea!  However for us, a “quick trip” to the grocery store means waiting for the bus, riding the bus, grabbing that one package of chicken, and then waiting for another 20 minutes for the bus to come again.

No thank you.

We also try to avoid multiple trips to the grocery store in one week to save money (student budgets don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room).

So instead we improvised, and used tofu!

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This turned out to be a delicious compromise!  Piled on top of some sauteed julienned vegetables and brown rice, this meal was a snap to prepare and completely satisfied our craving for sticky chicken!

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As we’ve said before, we are not vegetarians, but we love vegetarian cooking, and we especially enjoy making vegetarian versions of traditional meat dishes!  And while this recipe doesn’t have that coveted crispy skin that people love about sticky chicken, the tofu itself is nice and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

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Smother the whole thing in a sweet-and-savoury sticky sauce and you have a winner winner chicken tofu dinner!

DSCN4524So maybe we’ll pick up some chicken on our next grocery trip and try making the real thing, but for now, we’ll just enjoy our vegetarian version! 🙂

Sticky Tofu

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Prep Time: 10 min + 20 min marinating
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 a 420g package of firm tofu, pressed
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 c. water + 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1-2 tsp dried rosemary
1 large clove garlic, minced
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients (except tofu) in a seal-able container.  Slice tofu into slices that are about 1/2 a centimeter thick.  Place slices in the marinade and put a lid on the container.  Slowly and carefully turn the container over a couple times so that every piece of tofu is covered in the marinade.  Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes so the tofu can soak up the flavours.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Remove the tofu from the marinade and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for 10 minutes on the other side, or until the tofu is browned and crispy on both sides.

While the tofu is baking, place the sauce in a small pot or pan and place over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.

We placed our tofu on top of cooked brown rice and sauteed vegetables, then drizzled the sauce over top, but you can pair it with anything you like!

~twosaucysisters

What do you do when you want to make a meal but you’re missing the main ingredient?  What is your favourite meal to vegetarian-ize?